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ISooft Kottces. 



SOCIN'S ARABIC GRAMMAR. 1 

Socin's grammar has been steadily enlarged and improved in suc- 
cessive issues, so that it is now an admirable introduction to the study 
of Arabic, and is pleasant reading also for the advanced student. The 
present edition does not differ materially from the third; only such 
changes have been introduced as were needed to adapt it to the reading 
of Brfinnow's Chrestomathy (except the Ajurrumiya). The work fills a 
gap in our grammatical literature, and has been received with great 
favor, as the number of editions shows. Perhaps the author, in his 
effort to be brief, sometimes compresses into a sentence more than is 
desirable ; the beginner needs simple and easily grasped statements. In 
this respect the Syntax is better than the Morphology ; the substance 
of the latest editions of Caspari (Miiller's or Wright's) is brought into 
agreeably small compass, and Caspari's portentous sentences are reduced 
to intelligible form. The large apparatus for translation into Arabic is 
retained ; and for the benefit of pupils and teachers in such translation 
a key to the exercises has been prepared (Schlussel zum tJbersetzen der 
in A. Socins Arabischer Gframmatik enthaltenen deutschen tTbungs- 
stUcke, published separately by Reuther & Reichard, at M. 1.50). 

The author very properly declines to reproduce the Arabic gram- 
matical terminology ; this may be done in large grammars, but would 
be out of place in an elementary book. Even in the great grammars it 
would be better to adopt the modern terminology (retaining, of course, 
the Arabic conceptions in accordance with the genius of the language), 
and to explain the native terms in notes or in an appendix. It is not 
easy to make these terms real for a beginner ; thus, Socin seems not to 
make clear the syntactical significance of the distinction between verbal 
and nominal sentences, and the student might understand it better if it 
were put differently. In a few smaller points I should prefer statements 
different from those made by Socin: wa («) in the sense of "with" 
(p. 97) should be treated as a preposition, and this meaning should be 
referred to the primary signification of the stem ; the logical force of fa 

(o) should be mentioned (p. 123); and, in passing, the use of siwd 

(i^y), as = "other," should be added on p. 111. There is, however, 

i Pobta LINOUAECM orientalium, edidit Herm. L. Strack. Pars IV, Arabische Gram- 
matik — Paradigmen, Litteratur, t)bungsstucke und Glossar. Von Dr. A. Socin, Ord. Pro- 
fessor an der Universitat Leipzig. Vierte vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage. Berlin: 
Reuther dt Reichard; New York : Lemcke <& Buechner, 1899. xiii + 169, 156* pp. ; small 16mo. 
M. 6 ; bound, 6.80. 

116 



Book Notices 117 

another usage, common in our Arabic grammars (and adopted by Socin), 
which is more serious; I mean the employment of the terms "tense" 
and "mode" (or "mood"). Every teacher knows how hard it is to make 
beginners comprehend that the element of time does not enter into old 
Semitic verb-forms ; and the task is made harder by the use of the word 
"tense," which, to the man trained in Latin and Greek, inevitably con- 
veys the notion of time. A number of terms have been proposed as 
substitutes for "tense;" whether or not we adopt some one of these, it is 
well to avoid "tense." The trouble with "mode" is even greater. Socin 
calls the imperfect in u " indicative" (p. 89), yet a few lines farther on 
gives an example in which this form is used in the expression of purpose 
— a use that the Aryan student will find it hard to reconcile with his 
notion of the "indicative mood." The imperfect in a is called "sub- 
junctive" (p. 90), that is, the form which expresses a mere conception, 
but it appears (p. 91) that after the negative Ian it is a pure indicative. 
The imperfect in jezma, called the "apocopated mood" (p. 91), is used 
to express a command, but, after the negative lam, it is suddenly trans- 
formed into a simple aorist of the past. We have the same sort of incon- 
gruity here that used to exist in the Semitic grammars when they called 
the perfect the "preterite" and the imperfect the "future." It is better 
to say at the beginning that Arabic grammar does not know our idea of 
"mood." C. H. Toy. 

Habvard Univeesity. 



KERN ON AN ARABIC TRANSLATION OF MOLIERE'S 
FEMMES SAVANTES. 1 

Some little time ago I wrote a notice in this Journal 2 of an edition of 
Muhammad 'Osman Galal's Madraset el-azwag — a free rendering into. 
Egyptian Arabic of Moliere's Uicole des maris — in transcription and 
translation by Dr. Sobernheim, a graduate of the Berlin Oriental Semi- 
nary. The excellent traditions of that institution are carried on in the 
present book. Dr. Kern's work is even more thorough and conscientious 
than was that of his predecessor and may safely be commended to those 
who are studying modern Arabic. 

It is needless to repeat what I said before, in reviewing Dr. Sobern- 
heim's book, on this new movement in Arabic literature. As Dr. Kern 
puts it, the merit of Muhammad 'Osman Galal consists in his being the 
first to use the written colloquial speech — not classical Arabic in any of 
its shades of perfection and popular unintelligibility — to bring the 
products of European civilization and literature home to the common 
people. Others had for long written poetry in the colloquial idioms j 
one of the first to do so had been Ibn Guzman, the wandering Spanish 

i InnisA'u-l'AlimAt yon Muhammad Bey. 'OsmAn OalAl. Nenarabische Bearbeitung 
Ton Moliere's Females Savantes, transcribiert, nbersetzt, eingeleitet und mit einem Glossar 
Torsohen. Von Friedrich Kern, Dr. phil. Leipzig : Otto Barrastowitz, 1898. 154 pp. 

2 Vol. XIII, pp. 313-15.